The American Football Coaches Foundation announced on Tuesday that Roger Goodell, commissioner of the National Football League, is the 2012 recipient of its CEO Coach of the Year Award.
Goodell was selected for the award by a unanimous vote of the AFCF Board of Directors. He will be honored at The Foundation’s CEO Coach of the Year Dinner, held at The Waldorf=Astoria in New York, N.Y., on December 10, 2012.
“Roger Goodell has demonstrated outstanding leadership as commissioner of the NFL,” AFCF Executive Director Grant Teaff said in a press release. “His concern for the safety and well-being of the NFL players, who come from our colleges and universities, is deeply appreciated. The fair, yet decisive way in which Roger has dealt with personal conduct over the years has not gone unnoticed, most recently, the message sent to players and coaches alike, making it clear the ‘bounty’ mentality would not be tolerated. The AFCA Board of Trustees joins the AFCF Board in unanimously selecting Roger Goodell as our 2012 CEO Coach of the Year. In doing so, we let the world know we stand with him in protecting our players and the great game of football.”
“I am deeply honored to be recognized by the American Football Coaches Foundation,” Goodell said in a press release. “I take my responsibility to the game of football very seriously, especially as we place a sharp focus on player health and safety and the integrity of the game. We know that our actions impact all levels of the game and we have to make sure that we strive every day to do what is right for the game.”
Goodell is entering his seventh season as commissioner of the NFL. He was chosen to replace the retiring Paul Tagliabue on August 8, 2006. Since taking over as commissioner, Goodell has addressed a wide range of issues to improve the NFL, including player health and safety; the medical needs and pensions of retired players; personal conduct; innovative fan services; and international development.
In 2011, Goodell helped secure a landmark 10-year Collective Bargaining Agreement with the NFL Players Association, the longest in the history of professional sports. He also helped secure new long-term television contracts with CBS, FOX and NBC. The new agreements continue the NFL’s tradition of being the only sports league that shows all of its regular-season and playoff games on free, over-the-air television.
Goodell joined the NFL in 1982 as an administrative intern in the league office in New York. After spending the 1983 season as an intern with the New York Jets, he returned to the league office in 1984 as an assistant in the public relations department. Goodell was later appointed assistant to the president of the American Football Conference, Lamar Hunt, by then-Commissioner Pete Rozelle in 1987. Under Rozelle’s successor, Paul Tagliabue, Goodell served in various senior executive roles, eventually being appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2001. In this role, Goodell was responsible for the league’s football operations and officiating departments in addition to supervising all league business functions.